Companies and individuals from across the trucking industry gathered in Dallas, TX in early October for the Women in Trucking’s ever-growing Accelerate! conference.
Over the course of three days, more than 1,000 women and men gathered in the downtown Dallas, Sheraton hotel to educate themselves on how to push the gender gap forward for females throughout the trucking industry. Topics related to leadership, professional development, HR/talent management, operations, sales and marketing, and even professional driver strategies were available to attendees.
The purpose of the organization and its annual event is “to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the industry.” General sessions brought the audience motivational and insightful perspectives on the various paths one can walk along the path to success in this industry.
The focus of the event is teaching others how to increase the presence of women within the industry. General sessions and break out sessions alike focused in on understanding and overcoming gender bias, breaking down advancement ceilings facing women, and providing strategies for transitioning perceptions.
Taking the stage during the opening presentations were three women with decades of experience in the trucking industry. They highlighted the need for anyone who wants to be successful in their career to be flexible with new opportunities, be intentional and verbal with their goals and aspirations, and be bold enough to build relationships with those who can help them in achieving their goals.
Ramona Hood, current Vice President of Operations, Planning & Strategy, FedEx Custom Critical shared her path to this position and strongly encouraged the audience to focus on three things when looking to take their career to the next level. “Be comfortable with the uncomfortable; share your goals and career aspirations with others, and find a mentor.” She noted how critical it was to have someone who knows your work and is willing to cosign for you, when you are not in the room.
Recipient of the “Most Influential Woman in Trucking” in 2018, Angela Eliacostas, President & Founder of AGT Logistics addressed the audience following Hood. Her path in trucking began as a little girl and encompassed driving her dad’s truck around back and fueling it up for his weeks-long trips. A plight of a single mother of four boys didn’t keep her from being brave. She took a “leap of faith”, as she explained it, and started her own trucking company “All Girls Transportation (AGT),” highlighting the woman owned nature of the company. The Organization has since evolved to AGT Global Logistics, a 3rd party logistics firm.
The event’s 3rd and final opening presenter was Ellen Voie. Ellen is the president and co-founder of Women in Trucking (WIT). Ellen briefed the audience on her dream to see more women grow and be active in the industry. WIT as an organization has been around for 12 years and has grown its membership numbers at both the corporate and individual levels. “This is only the 5th year we have held the Accelerate! Conference. I can’t believe I’m speaking to 1,000 people in the audience right now. I’m going to set a goal for the 2020 conference; Let’s get to 1500!” The audience erupted in show of their support.
The remainder of the 3-day conference encompassed more than 60 sessions of motivational and mind-transformational discussions on topics like: gender diversity, leadership, professional development, HR/talent management, operations, sales and marketing, and professional drivers. Check back on the HD Repair Forum website for more stories detailing some of those sessions.
If interested in taking part in the 2020 conference, save the dates for a trip to Dallas, Texas, September 23-25, 2020.
About Women in Trucking
The Women In Trucking Association is a non-profit organization focused on the transportation and logistics industry. Our mission? To encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.
About HD Repair Forum
HD Repair Group offers a dedicated source of focused information for those involved in collision repair work for heavy-duty/commercial vehicles, primarily in classes 5, 6, 7, and 8. This community is where shop owners, executives, managers, technicians, estimators, and other industry stakeholders will find the latest news, tips, tactics, trends and best practices in the heavy-duty collision repair industry. The HD Repair Group offers numerous ways of delivering this information including an annual conference, a monthly e-newsletter, webinars, videos, and social channels for networking.